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What's wrong with the passing game? (Non-JC edition)

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Old 12-01-2008, 11:51 AM   #1
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What's wrong with the passing game? (Non-JC edition)

Our passing game has become non existent, stagnant, pedestrian, worthless, whatever other adjectives you want to use, but bottom line, it's considerably less potent than it was earlier this season.

There are plenty of threads (foolishly IMO) bashing Campbell as the cause of the problem but as he showed earlier this year, when the other parts of the passing game are performing correctly he is as efficient and effective as the top tier QB in the league.

Offensive line-No brainer here. He's got to get better protection and from Rabach and Jansen. Jansen is garbage, he's been bad for 3 seasons now but still is trotted out there. Rabach is decent but when facing elite defenses he really gets exposed. While this is an area that will need attention this offseason, it's not like the whole thing needs to be blown up. Reinhart got good reviews in the preseason and hopefully will develop into a replacement for Kendall and FA offensive linemen can be acquired almost every offseason.

Scheme-Zorn can do 3 things to improve the passing game immediately.

1. Take more shots down the field. As Moss said a couple of weeks ago, if you only give me one chance to make a play I can't be as effective. We saw one pass travel more than 40 yards yesterday, none against Seattle, one against Dallas, one against Pittsburgh. 4 things can happen on a deep ball, catch, penalty, incompletion, interception. Only one of them really hurts you. I'd rather have an incompletion 40 yards down field than on a slant. If teams know you will try them deep, they will defend it.
2. Get Campbell in the shotgun. He said he's more comfortable there, he sees the field better, he can get the ball out quicker and he's more efficient from the shotgun. Zorn doesn't like it as much because it limits his play calls. Play to the strength of your players. Let them do what they do best.
3. Move the pocket. It's really easy to tee off on a QB when you know where he's going to be. Moving the pocket on a controlled rollout may give the additional 2-3 seconds needed for a WR to clear a zone or break free from a corner.

WR Another no brainer, but this can slowly improve over the rest of the season. Certain things are obvious to us as fans. We have a #1 WR in Moss and a 2A receiver in Cooley. We don't have a #2 WR. That's presumably what role Kelly was drafted to fill and now that he's healthy and involved he can start to develop in that role. Randle-El is at best a #3 WR. He doesn't have the speed to get deep or the size to be a possession WR but he is very adept in a Welker role of finding holes, getting 7-12 yards and moving the chains. It's very easy for a good defense to eliminate 2 passing threats and that's what we've seen the past 4 weeks. Cooley and Moss have been non factors most weeks because teams can focus on them. Once Kelly or Thomas can make teams respect them, we will see more production overall.

The other key is making plays when the opportunity is there. Moss, Thrash, Kelly, Thomas and Randle El have all had HUGE drops in the past 4 games that could have made a difference. When you have limited opportunities you have to take advantage without fail.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:00 PM   #2
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Re: What's wrong with the passing game? (Non-JC edition)

Are you sure Santana Moss is a number 1 reciever anymore? He was in 2005 but has not been the same since. Hes clearly not getting open, otherwise campbell would hit him. Larry Fitzgerald is a number 1 reciever. Andre Johnson is a number 1 reciever. Randy Moss is a 1 reciever. I dont think Santana Moss can be used in the same sentence with those guys. Hopefully either kelly and thomas develop into a starter so we can move randel el back to 3.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:03 PM   #3
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Re: What's wrong with the passing game? (Non-JC edition)

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Originally Posted by Paintrain View Post
Our passing game has become non existent, stagnant, pedestrian, worthless, whatever other adjectives you want to use, but bottom line, it's considerably less potent than it was earlier this season.

There are plenty of threads (foolishly IMO) bashing Campbell as the cause of the problem but as he showed earlier this year, when the other parts of the passing game are performing correctly he is as efficient and effective as the top tier QB in the league.

Offensive line-No brainer here. He's got to get better protection and from Rabach and Jansen. Jansen is garbage, he's been bad for 3 seasons now but still is trotted out there. Rabach is decent but when facing elite defenses he really gets exposed. While this is an area that will need attention this offseason, it's not like the whole thing needs to be blown up. Reinhart got good reviews in the preseason and hopefully will develop into a replacement for Kendall and FA offensive linemen can be acquired almost every offseason.

Scheme-Zorn can do 3 things to improve the passing game immediately.

1. Take more shots down the field. As Moss said a couple of weeks ago, if you only give me one chance to make a play I can't be as effective. We saw one pass travel more than 40 yards yesterday, none against Seattle, one against Dallas, one against Pittsburgh. 4 things can happen on a deep ball, catch, penalty, incompletion, interception. Only one of them really hurts you. I'd rather have an incompletion 40 yards down field than on a slant. If teams know you will try them deep, they will defend it.
2. Get Campbell in the shotgun. He said he's more comfortable there, he sees the field better, he can get the ball out quicker and he's more efficient from the shotgun. Zorn doesn't like it as much because it limits his play calls. Play to the strength of your players. Let them do what they do best.
3. Move the pocket. It's really easy to tee off on a QB when you know where he's going to be. Moving the pocket on a controlled rollout may give the additional 2-3 seconds needed for a WR to clear a zone or break free from a corner.

WR Another no brainer, but this can slowly improve over the rest of the season. Certain things are obvious to us as fans. We have a #1 WR in Moss and a 2A receiver in Cooley. We don't have a #2 WR. That's presumably what role Kelly was drafted to fill and now that he's healthy and involved he can start to develop in that role. Randle-El is at best a #3 WR. He doesn't have the speed to get deep or the size to be a possession WR but he is very adept in a Welker role of finding holes, getting 7-12 yards and moving the chains. It's very easy for a good defense to eliminate 2 passing threats and that's what we've seen the past 4 weeks. Cooley and Moss have been non factors most weeks because teams can focus on them. Once Kelly or Thomas can make teams respect them, we will see more production overall.

The other key is making plays when the opportunity is there. Moss, Thrash, Kelly, Thomas and Randle El have all had HUGE drops in the past 4 games that could have made a difference. When you have limited opportunities you have to take advantage without fail.
WRONG!
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:03 PM   #4
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Re: What's wrong with the passing game? (Non-JC edition)

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Are you sure Santana Moss is a number 1 reciever anymore? He was in 2005 but has not been the same since. Hes clearly not getting open, otherwise campbell would hit him. Larry Fitzgerald is a number 1 reciever. Andre Johnson is a number 1 reciever. Randy Moss is a 1 reciever. I dont think Santana Moss can be used in the same sentence with those guys. Hopefully either kelly and thomas develop into a starter so we can move randel el back to 3.
Did Santana Moss dropoff in talent and ability from the first 5 games of this season when he was clearly a #1 WR? He was top 5 in catches and yards earlier in the year. He's a #1, but like all of them, he needs some help. I wouldn't say he is the same as a Randy Moss, Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald because they are different types of WR. If the definition of a #1 WR is a receiver who is your primary passing threat that defenses must account for whenever he is on the field, then yes, he's a #1.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:17 PM   #5
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Re: What's wrong with the passing game? (Non-JC edition)

Our opponents are taking Santana away from us point blank. It's rare that you don't see him double or triple covered. Santana is not a big receiver so he can't bully himself around to get open like T.O., Randy Moss & others. He is a 5'9 crisp route runner, speedster when they are double covered it's not much they can do. See Steve Smith in the 2006 playoff game against Chicago he stayed covered he couldn't catch a thing.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:25 PM   #6
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Re: What's wrong with the passing game? (Non-JC edition)

Look no further than the OL. If you can't protect the QB you can't win.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:27 PM   #7
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Re: What's wrong with the passing game? (Non-JC edition)

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Did Santana Moss dropoff in talent and ability from the first 5 games of this season when he was clearly a #1 WR? He was top 5 in catches and yards earlier in the year. He's a #1, but like all of them, he needs some help. I wouldn't say he is the same as a Randy Moss, Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald because they are different types of WR. If the definition of a #1 WR is a receiver who is your primary passing threat that defenses must account for whenever he is on the field, then yes, he's a #1.
The problem isn't that Santana can't dominate games like he did at the beginning of the season. As I've said in other threads, you can't really rely on Moss for a few reasons: health, hands, and other inconsistencies in route running.

I believe that the offense should have a bunch of plays designed to get Santana in space because he is still very dangerous, and our top big threat weapon. I'm just starting to realize that too much of what we do runs through Moss, and it comes back to bite us far too often.

I think this team will be best if Malcolm Kelly and Antwaan Randle El are able to start and produce at the receivers next year, and then Moss comes off the bench when Sellers comes out of the game in order to give the passing game another dimension of speed. We should still use the screens, play action passes, deep ins, and corners with him, but I just don't feel like he's an every down player...which I think Randle El is.

But the reason we have to do so much through him is symptomatic of the bigger problem: that neither Kelly nor Thomas is ready to have the passing offense run through them. Cooley could be this guy, with Fred Davis at TE, but I'm not sure how valuable Cooley would be running skinny posts from a split end formation and stuff.

So this is a big problem, and obviously upgrades are needed on the right side of the OL, and especially at C. But that's pretty much the whole deal with the offense, IMO.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:30 PM   #8
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Re: What's wrong with the passing game? (Non-JC edition)

I think if you put Santana Moss on a better offense he'd have better numbers. He's a good NFL wr playing on a bad offense. But he's not in the same class as elite NFL wr's.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:35 PM   #9
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Re: What's wrong with the passing game? (Non-JC edition)

All this crapping on Moss and yet he's still on pace for 1100+ yards this year. Imagine where his numbers would be in a better offense.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:36 PM   #10
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Re: What's wrong with the passing game? (Non-JC edition)

It's hard to imagine Moss being in a situation where he is more the focal point of the offense than he is now. I think it's just the opposite sf69, I think this is what Moss is: a guy who can get 8-9 yards every time he touches the football, but instead of 6, 7, 7, 9, 10, Moss is more of a 0, 0, 0, 21, 35 type guy. The latter, IMO is significantly less valuable than the former, because we can't move the chains with all those zeros.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:40 PM   #11
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Re: What's wrong with the passing game? (Non-JC edition)

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I think if you put Santana Moss on a better offense he'd have better numbers. He's a good NFL wr playing on a bad offense. But he's not in the same class as elite NFL wr's.
100% agree with you on that!!! Replace Wes Welker with Santana Moss he would have a record setting season.
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:11 PM   #12
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Re: What's wrong with the passing game? (Non-JC edition)

SM is probably the 12th-15th best WR is the NFL. As a #1 WR on a team you'd like to be above 15th and preferrably above 10th.

Look at the game sunday as an example of a good passing game. Eli threw down field extremely accurately to his WR's. In many cases, his WR was the only one w/ a play on the ball, even though we covered it well. That's a combination of Eli and his WR's. Sometimes as an elite QB you need that accuracy. The WR's might not be WIDE open. Look at NY's wide receivers too: Burress, Toomer, Smith, Dixon, Moss. Does that tell you anything? They have talent and depth.

Ok top 15 WRs in no order

Boldin
Fitzgerald
Houshmanzadah
TO
Marshall
A Johnson
Greg Jennings
Steve Smith
Burress
Wayne
Calvin Johnson?
R Moss

Then S Moss maybe. So SM is most likely in the 10th-15th best WR in the NFL give or take. You'd like your best WR to be in the top 10 or at least in the top 15. If you're close to the 15th best then your #2 needs to be good, and ours isn't.
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:24 PM   #13
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Re: What's wrong with the passing game? (Non-JC edition)

I guess I'm just gonna start harping,
WR technique is bad, which means WR coaching probably is bad, we have gone through a bunch of WR's maybe it's time we get a new WR coach.
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:33 PM   #14
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Re: What's wrong with the passing game? (Non-JC edition)

Campbell Drops To Deep--holds Ball To Long--does Not Play Like A Confident Qb--needs Shock Therapy--bench Him--start Collins. I Question Jason's Strength Of Leadership.
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:36 PM   #15
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Re: What's wrong with the passing game? (Non-JC edition)

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Campbell Drops To Deep--holds Ball To Long--does Not Play Like A Confident Qb--needs Shock Therapy--bench Him--start Collins. I Question Jason's Strength Of Leadership.
I Question Why You Capitalize Every Word--but That Does Not Mean You Should Be Benched--does It?
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